Adults who do not work in the school system tend to glamorize and idealize the beginning of the school year...particularly the purchasing of new school supplies. So many movies and books display characters experiencing extreme nostalgia as summer comes to an end and the big yellow buses make their autumn debut. Oh, the freshly sharpened pencils. The perfect rainbow of unused crayons and markers. And, the crisp, empty notebooks.
As all 29 of my students filed into my classroom last week, my thoughts were not quite so cheerful. My mind began to rush into a flurry of worry. Where were all of these new supplies going to hide in my room with only three cabinets (none of which are empty) and a few shelves already fully stocked with books? Then, there were the students. As I collected their supplies to neatly tuck them away, their concern became elevated, as well. What happens to that stack of sticky notes that won't fit in the bin? Will I ever see my glue bottle again? Can't I just take my crayons home?
The following day I was able to find a home for every last glue stick and Kleenex box. I reminded the kids that we would be using these supplies all throughout the year and that the extra supplies would in fact come in handy. We were all able to take a couple deep breaths by the end of the day and leaving my classroom I was just relieved that everything had been put away.